Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Slave Ship: A Human History Paperback – September 30, 2008
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this groundbreaking work, historian and scholar Rediker considers the relationships between the slave ship captain and his crew, between the sailors and the slaves, and among the captives themselves as they endured the violent, terror-filled and often deadly journey between the coasts of Africa and America. While he makes fresh use of those who left their mark in written records (Olaudah Equiano, James Field Stanfield, John Newton), Rediker is remarkably attentive to the experiences of the enslaved women, from whom we have no written accounts, and of the common seaman, who he says was a victim of the slave trade... and a victimizer. Regarding these vessels as a strange and potent combination of war machine, mobile prison, and factory, Rediker expands the scholarship on how the ships not only delivered millions of people to slavery, [but] prepared them for it. He engages readers in maritime detail (how ships were made, how crews were fed) and renders the archival (letters, logs and legal hearings) accessible. Painful as this powerful book often is, Rediker does not lose sight of the humanity of even the most egregious participants, from African traders to English merchants. (Oct. 8)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Marcus Rediker is professor of maritime history at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (1987), The Many-Headed Hydra (2000), and Villains of All Nations (2005), books that explore seafaring, piracy, and the origins of globalization. In The Slave Ship, Rediker combines exhaustive research with an astute and highly readable synthesis of the material, balancing documentary snapshots with an ear for gripping narrative. Critics compare the impact of Rediker’s history, unique for its ship-deck perspective, to similarly compelling fictional accounts of slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Charles Johnson’s Middle Passage. Even scholars who have written on the subject defer to Rediker’s vast knowledge of the subject. Bottom line: The Slave Ship is sure to become a classic of its subject.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
My main disappointment (and understandable since the testimony of sailors employed on the ships engaged in the slave trade was more acceptable to Parliment than that of the transported slaves) was that there were precious few quotes from the Africans themselves who experienced the horror of the Middle Passage. Their experiences were reported tangentially through others, such as ship's surgeons, mates and sailors; but rarely in their own words. Regardless of my personal disappointments, the research presented and the the depth of the discussion have left a sobering impression, with little doubt as to the disregard, callousness and abject evil of the merchants, governments, traders and the entire plantation system that led to the inhuman transport of more than 12 million souls, against their will, to service the purposes and greed of an entire merchant system without the slightest interest in those humans welfare, only insofar as it serviced their own interests.
This last point should raise a question for the reader: is it appropriate for Rediker to emphasize the plight of slave crews as well as slaves? Does this detract from the uniquely horrible experiences of slaves traded across the Atlantic, or more realistically depict the disgusting nature of the industry as a whole? This is for the reader to decide. Either way, Rediker is careful to craft a narrative that graphically depicts the disgusting violence of the Atlantic slave trade. For this reason the book is a necessary read. This was a bloody industry, and Rediker does well to depict it as such.
Rediker’s book is extremely well-written and it is utterly gripping. The manner in which he conveys the various stories of slaves, slavers, and other involved parties is enthralling. This work is very heavy and can sometimes be hard to read. The numerous acts of brutality against the enslaved are simply horrific. Some of the stories he tells are reminiscent of those from the holocaust. Rediker does a phenomenal job in capturing life in the “wooden world”.
The use of personal accounts of life on the slave ships help paint a reliable picture of the reality aboard these vessels. By combining stories from slaves, captains, seaman, and merchants, it is possible to reconstruct the conditions aboard the ships by looking for similarities between the stories. Rediker understands this and uses an almost overwhelming amount of first-hand accounts to drive home the truth of these ships, which helped shaped the modern Western world.
This book is important because it reconnects Africa with the greater Atlantic world. Modern Atlantic histories are generally concerned with Europe and North America, but it is clear that Africa needs to be included in these histories. Allison Games writes, “The comparative absence of Africa in conceptualizations of the Atlantic is a consequence both of the dominance of Atlantic history by historians of the North Atlantic and of enduring Eurocentrism”. (Games)
Marcus Rediker has created a tremendous work that is filled with a treasure trove of information. While it is a bit disjointed, the quality of the research far outweighs the minor structural problems. This book highlights the brutality and the horrors of the middle passage and the struggles those imprisoned onboard faced.
We run, terrified, in the forests of Africa, trying to escape a raided village. We experience, first the awe of the Africans at meeting the Slave Ship. Then come the small horror stories pinned on the back of a great tragedy as Rediker describes with wonderful detail and judicious use of class analysis the social life aboard the Slave Ship.
Aside from the continuum of slavery as an institution and its most gruesome consequences for the kidnapped and enslaved, the author also shifts persepctive on the common sailor, taking us as far as Liverpool to the place of a sailors' insurrection in the chapter 'The Sailor's Vast Machine'. This is both a welcomed perspective on the specific subject of the book and, in the larger narrative, stands as an addition to Rediker's great 'Villans of all Nations'.